Iran’s horoscope for the year 1393
The nuclear file, economic improvements, human rights and freedom of expression are the main demands on Iranian people’s wish lists
Nowrouz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox, which usually occurs on March 21. Iranians getting ready for a big national celebration, while their pockets are still empty and their hearts are full of hope for a better year ahead.
They are hopeful because of the rapprochement between Iran and the United States since Hassan Rowhani became president last summer. The horoscope for the year 1393 is positive!
The nuclear deal has more or less been struck and the conditions have been accepted; it is in the final stages of becoming permanent. The public has every right to feel happy and joyful on this Nowrouz.
Public excitement piqued when officials on both sides of the divide began negotiations and the possibility of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Iran and the U.S. seemed realizable.
Three decades of mistrust and animosity between Iran and the U.S. eased slightly under the pragmatist government of Hassan RowhaniCamelia Entekhabi-Fard
But, this channel of communication was soon closed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini. There is not much hope for Iran and the U.S. to restore full diplomatic ties this year, but there is hope for improving the economy and normalizing relations with the rest of the world.
Three decades of mistrust and animosity between Iran and the U.S. eased slightly under the pragmatist government of Hassan Rowhani. Who can tell what the future holds for Iran this year.
Iran understands that the Middle East is experiencing significant changes and the United States is not willing to have any further military involvement. On Pakistani and Afghan affairs, somehow Iran and the U.S. are both on the same page. Fears of terrorism and drug trafficking and the return of the Taliban Afghanistan, all present new opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the near future.
Politically, there has been a lot of improvement but Human Rights activists are still challenging Iran’s rights records under Rowhani’s government as it is still poor. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon last week denounced executions, amputations and arbitrary imprisonment that is occurring in Iran.
The United Nations’ concerns about rights violations in the Islamic Republic include “amputations, flogging, increased application of the death penalty, arbitrary detention and unfair trials,” Ban said in a new report.
Among other things, the U.N. secretary-general called for “the immediate release” of two opposition leaders, Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, and for “their urgent and adequate access to medical care.”
The two men with Mousavi’s wife, Ms. Zahra Rahnavard, have been held incommunicado under house arrest since February 2011, accused of orchestrating massive, unprecedented street protests sparked by a disputed presidential election in 2009. Last summer, during Rowhani’s presidential campaign, he promised his supporters that he would solve the nuclear disputed file in order to lift the sanctions if he became president. Rowhani also talked about political prisoners and promised to help them get released. He fulfilled his promises on the nuclear file which is going to be completely settled this coming summer but the president has done nothing to release or change the conditions of the political prisoners. It may be that human rights weren’t the president’s priority but perhaps he will include the issue on his agenda when the nuclear file is dealt with.
The nuclear file, economic improvements, human rights and freedom of expression are the main demands on people’s wish lists.
This year is the year of the horse. The typical “horse character” is patient, but still creative and active. What a coincidence that both Iran and China find themselves in the year of the horse; some Iranians joke that Chinese debts to Iran will be paid back with horses “made in China.” According to the astronomical horoscope, the year of the horse is a year of “cleverness,” so let us see what the future holds.
Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard
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